These woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have played all day and now it’s time to sleep.
I pray thee Lord my soul to keep,
As angels watch me through the night,
And keep me safe till morning light.
When it’s time to play again.
Archimedes said, ‘Give me a place to stand and I can move the earth.’ – I say, ‘Give me a chair, let me sit, and go to a place where time and the earth stands still.’
I love to travel, but hate to fly.
Traveling puts me on a plane, where if I am lucky, I get an aisle seat in an emergency row, but, if not, I am sandwiched in a middle seat between two large passengers who either talk too much or snore. “Peanuts or cookies?” the stewardess asks. An upgrade to First Class where the champagne flows, I want to reply.
Born free, and yet everywhere on this plane one is shackled by the reminder to keep seat belts attached at all times. What would Rousseau think?
If one believes in the philosophy of yin and yang, then the unpleasant experience of flying on a Boeing 777 is complementary, interconnected, and interdependent with the experience of traveling to the natural world. One necessarily gives rise to the other.
In this natural setting far away from the familiar world, I find a seat, confining as the one left behind, but a seat that takes me where I want to go, to a place where I move and time and the earth stands still.
Alas, it is a universal truth that good and evil co-exist, but the natural world, though pushed aside and often forgotten in a rush to get ahead, has its place and waits for us to come.
In a way, going to Norway every summer was like going home.
From Boy, by Roald Dahl. “The summer holidays! Those magic words! The mere mention of them used to send shivers of joy rippling over my skin.”
If you are just now reading this, then it is too late, you already missed it. Wait, wait, you must wait another 360 days until the next summer solstice and a festival called Slinningsbålet.
No, it is not a dance, but a bonfire that marks the time in the year when the days again grow short and the sun begins to retreat in the sky. Long days make for good hikes in the Sunnmøre Alps.
To celebrate into the night, Norwegians create the world’s largest bonfire turning night into day, and the land of the midnight sun into one of perpetual sunshine. In Norway, it is always bright and happy, unless it it winter, then it is mighty dark and nice to stay at home with a good book, a glass of wine and a Stressless recliner.
Norway’s largest and best celebration of Slinningsbålet takes place on June the 24th in Ålesund in the county of Møre og Romsdal, on the western coastline of Norway. In 2010, the townsfolk on the sea built a massive tower of shipping crates, a record-setting 132.71 feet tall.
Though you missed it, you can connect via Facebook.
Or, if you prefer follow on Twitter.
Did I mention that Stressless recliners and office chairs are designed and made in Ikornnes, a village along the Sykkylvsfjorden, in Møre og Romsdal county. Though you missed this year’s Slinningsbålet, you can still relax in your favorite Stressless recliner and enjoy the summer weather long into the night.
Stressless recliners are carried by many fine retailers including:
If I am going to stick with a New Year’s Resolution in 2017, it might be this:
Go not where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The thing about resolutions is that they are often abandoned and forgotten like a clod upon a field. Still, if even a glimmer of the resolution is kept, we create a whole new person with a whole new outlook on life. This thought leads me along the path to one of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl, who said:
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
Magic is a wonderful thing. It makes life exciting. It makes life likeable and livable. I am not speaking of Las Vegas magic, I am speaking of the magic of finding something new in life, of discovering that learning never ends.
This year, I will be home for the holidays.
My grown children are arriving soon from Colorado and Texas. Dear guests will drop by. My aunt will be making cookies and pie. I’ll be buying the beer and wine. It is the least and the most I can do. And the cold days and long nights give rise to thoughts like these:
The highlight in December is Christmas
A day we are all waiting for
When family and guest gather round
To listen to the sound of carols
To share presents under the tree
To raise a spirited cheer
With a glass of wine
To throw a log of wood on the fire
And stare at the flickering light
But out in the hills and valleys and woods
The animals gather too
Underneath the twinkling stars
To ward off the cold and dark
There below the heavenly skies
To experience the beauty of the snow and the silence
The boss is hounding you at work or the kids are screaming at home. Or you find cable news too pervasive. Sometimes a guy or a gal has just got to get away.
That goes for Superman too. He created his Fortress of Solitude as a place of solace and peace, and picked the Arctic as a place to chill. Your spot of solitude needn’t be so cold.Nor need it be a location – a place will do, a Stressless recliner in your den, living room, or bed room.
The patented Stressless Glide system responds quickly and smoothly to your body movements. Stretch and the chair moves. Even the Stressless base is designed for comfort Your body doesn’t naturally stay in one position for long. The Stressless round base lets you swivel 360° while seated. In a cabin on a mountain, see the world from a Stressless recliner.
Stressless Skyline – a modern recliner with a retro touch, a balance between modern and traditional, an affinity to almost every environment including the Arctic.
Within four degrees of the Arctic Circle and at a latitude of 62 degrees, Ikornnes, and the Sykkylven fjord on which it lies, is further north than Anchorage, Alaska and every major Canadian city. In the summer there are 20 hours of daylight and in the winter 20 hours of darkness.
With time on their hands, the Norwegians design and make the best recliners. Norwegians hail the coming of spring, but ever cagey, they say, “En svale gjør ingen sommer.” One swallow does not summer make. And, “Tålmodighet og tid kan gjøre gode ting.” Patience and time make good things possible.
Rhyme, repetition and rhythm make for a simple, but true story about the power of conscience, all done up by William Wordsworth in a little iambic pentameter, more or less, in abab rhyme.
The truth arises from a case story related by Erasmus Darwin. “A young farmer in Warwickshire, finding his hedges broke, and the sticks carried away during a frosty season, determined to watch for the thief.” Zoonomia, Vol. II, page 146.
Truth is a powerful tool. So, lest we fall victim to the truth of the matter, let us have some compassion for those less fortunate. Remember a chilly conscience does not warm the soul.
GOODY BLAKE AND HARRY GILL
A TRUE STORY, by William Wordsworth, 1798
OH! what’s the matter? what’s the matter?
What is’t that ails young Harry Gill?
That evermore his teeth they chatter,
Chatter, chatter, chatter still!
Of waistcoats Harry has no lack,
Good duffle grey, and flannel fine;
He has a blanket on his back,
And coats enough to smother nine.
But when the ice our streams did fetter,
Oh then how her old bones would shake!
You would have said, if you had met her,
‘Twas a hard time for Goody Blake.
Her evenings then were dull and dead:
Sad case it was, as you may think,
For very cold to go to bed;
And then for cold not sleep a wink.
O joy for her! whene’er in winter
The winds at night had made a rout;
And scattered many a lusty splinter
And many a rotten bough about.
Yet never had she, well or sick,
As every man who knew her says,
A pile beforehand, turf or stick,
Enough to warm her for three days.
Now Harry he had long suspected
This trespass of old Goody Blake;
And vowed that she should be detected–
That he on her would vengeance take.
And oft from his warm fire he’d go,
And to the fields his road would take;
And there, at night, in frost and snow,
He watched to seize old Goody Blake.
Right glad was he when he beheld her:
Stick after stick did Goody pull:
He stood behind a bush of elder,
Till she had filled her apron full.
When with her load she turned about,
The by-way back again to take;
He started forward, with a shout,
And sprang upon poor Goody Blake.
And fiercely by the arm he took her,
And by the arm he held her fast,
And fiercely by the arm he shook her,
And cried, “I’ve caught you then at last!”–
Then Goody, who had nothing said,
Her bundle from her lap let fall;
And, kneeling on the sticks, she prayed
To God that is the judge of all.
She prayed, her withered hand uprearing,
While Harry held her by the arm–
“God! who art never out of hearing,
O may he never more be warm!”
The cold, cold moon above her head,
Thus on her knees did Goody pray;
Young Harry heard what she had said:
And icy cold he turned away.
He went complaining all the morrow
That he was cold and very chill:
His face was gloom, his heart was sorrow,
Alas! that day for Harry Gill!
That day he wore a riding-coat,
But not a whit the warmer he:
Another was on Thursday brought,
And ere the Sabbath he had three.
‘Twas all in vain, a useless matter,
And blankets were about him pinned;
Yet still his jaws and teeth they clatter;
Like a loose casement in the wind.
And Harry’s flesh it fell away;
And all who see him say, ’tis plain,
That, live as long as live he may,
He never will be warm again.
No word to any man he utters,
A-bed or up, to young or old;
But ever to himself he mutters,
“Poor Harry Gill is very cold.”
A-bed or up, by night or day;
His teeth they chatter, chatter still.
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray,
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill!
Ikornness, Norway is quite close to the Arctic Circle, and so with summer comes long golden days when ideally we work hard, but play harder. Now summer is gone.
It is November in Ikornnes and if one is lucky and the clouds are gone one will see six and one half hours of the sun, that is when the clouds are gone. Work, like play, is a state of mind.
So a hard day at the office is really quite Stressless and the nights are delightful with plenty of time to give thanks.
Thanksgiving Day is over, but isn’t December a good time to commit our energies to giving thanks and just giving, so that we have an impact on someone else’s life?
During the Charity of Choice event, by giving $50 to your favorite charity, Traditions Furniture will give back $400 off select Stressless® recliners or $200 any Stressless recliner. The select seating includes the Stressless Classic Base Models of the Vegas, Reno, Tampa and the Stressless Reno Office Model.
Questions? Come see us and ask for details.
Directions: It is a seven hour flight from New York to Oslo and then a roundabout drive up one fjord and down another before coming to Ikornnes.